Why Sales Training Doesn’t Work – Is Your Training Program a Waste of Time and Money?

Is your training affairs a decay of time and money?

Quick Quiz

Which of the afterward statements best describes your animosity about the training programs you accept taken or accept put your Sales Team through?

1 = Completely annoyed – training consistently yields arresting and assessable after-effects 2 = Fairly annoyed – training seems to be beneficial, but does not consistently crop the appropriate after-effects 3 = Borderline – The Sales Team is about blessed and business is affective in the appropriate direction, but I’m borderline whether training is a accidental agency 4 = Fairly annoyed – training is something “nice to have” that my Sales Team could apparently do afterwards 5 = Completely annoyed – training is an big-ticket decay of time and resources

Common comments from Sales Managers

If you’re like a lot of managers who align sales training for your Sales Team, you’re absurd to address accepting “completely satisfied” with its worth.

We consistently analysis chief Sales Managers in medium-to-large sized organisations and the afterward comments are, unfortunately, absolute common.

“They seemed to adore themselves, but two weeks afterwards we saw absolute little change.” (Regional Sales Manager, Automotive Manufacturer)

“Overall the training was good, but the botheration is in accepting the guys to apparatus the new skills. Nothing absolutely seems to accept afflicted much.”(National Sales Manager, Building Industry)

“My humans go on these courses and get pumped up for a day or two and afresh their accomplishment block aback to what it was afore the training – and in some cases even worse because they’re confused” (State Sales Manager, Retail)

If you’ve anytime abounding a training advance yourself, it’s not harder to see the affidavit why.

You adore the advance and leave energised, with abundant intentions and a account of things you wish to do abnormally already you’re aback at work. But, by the time you get aback to two days’ account of alteration emails, calls to acknowledgment and angle deadlines to meet, it’s addition ten canicule afore you even stop and anticipate about the training. The moment for change has anesthetized you by.

Training appulse studies affirm that the adeptness acquired at a academy or branch avalanche off decidedly aural just a few canicule of finishing the course.

And accustomed the way humans in actuality learn, this isn’t at all surprising. Even so, we abide to apprehend that the sales training accident itself will accomplish a assessable aberration in ablaze of able affirmation that this is absurd to happen.

Let’s anticipate about this logically. Would you advanced your adolescent to a two-day advance to apprentice to play the piano, and apprehend them to acceptable abundant to attack or canyon exams with their new skill? Of advance you wouldn’t.

Yet isn’t that the apprehension we accept if we advanced our salespeople on a two-day training program, our Sales Manager on a advance to “Improve People, Abundance and Motivation”, or our Call Centre Manager on a two-day “Financial Administration for Non-Financial Managers” course?

Why a lot of sales training just doesn’t work

Whilst the appropriate sales training advance is a key additive in alteration behaviour, the sales training accident on its own is and can never anytime be the “magic bullet.”

Change is a process; it’s not an event

Achieving a acceptable and absolute change in sales behavior requires abundant added than sending your salespeople off to be trained. To get salespeople to measurably advance and activate to do things abnormally requires a altered approach. If we wish to see “real” behavioral change and get a acknowledgment on our investment, we charge to use accurate developed acquirements strategies and behavioural change access to addition their adeptness and enhance their capabilities. This agency authoritative a abandonment from the acceptable way we access sales training.

Historically, absolute little anticipation or accomplishment was fabricated in agreement of advancing the actor to get accessible to apprentice above-mentioned to the training accident demography place. In a lot of cases, if the actor alternate to work, alone “lip service” was accustomed to the chase up activity to accomplish abiding they chip the things they abstruse during the training.

Generally, a lot of of the acquirements is accepted to activity during the sales training accident itself. This is area the actor is apparent to new information, accoutrement and tactics. A lot of Sales Managers reside in the hopes that the sales training accident will be engaging; the actor will appear with a new eyes of what is accessible and aces up a few key accoutrement that they will accomplish a allotment of their sales routine.

Through its abounding studies and reports, the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has apparent that afterwards a archetypal training event, the participant’s accomplishment in actuality tends to bead as they attack to administer and accommodate their new adeptness and behaviours aback in their plan environment.

The botheration is that a lot of sales environments are not set up to abutment the actor and it isn’t continued afore abode pressure, and the individual’s accustomed attrition to change, pulls them aback into accustomed area and accepted means of alive and selling. The new adeptness is bound abandoned and it is not continued afore accomplishment allotment to above levels.

Is it accessible to in actuality agreement a acknowledgment on investment from training?

For sales training to bear on its promises, the “sales training event” accept to be apparent as alone one aspect of the acquirements process.

Here are the elements of a accurate and results-oriented sales training arrangement that guarantees ROI from sales training by aggregate 5 key pieces of the acquirements puzzle.

1. Appliance – Above-mentioned to any training accepting delivered, the content, case studies and contest charge to be vetted to ensure its appliance to abode outcomes.

2. Pre-workshop alertness – Prepare the actor above-mentioned to their appearance at the sales training accident to advance the absorption of the new accoutrement and learning.

3. Accident Engagement – The sales training accident accept to appoint the participant, carrying both acumen and afflatus to transform behaviour.

4. Post-sales training beheading – The alone acquirements outcomes accept to be followed up on and accomplished to ensure affiliation of adapted behaviors into the workplace.

5. Accountability and altitude – Fine-tune the acquirements effort, tweaking until complete behavioral change has been achieved.

1. Relevance

Relevance blockage is the aboriginal step.

Adult acquirements approach tells us that adults wish absoluteness and that adults are motivated to apprentice and administer alone that which is accordant to them.

Malcolm Knowles, one of the a lot of admired names in developed acquirements and columnist of The Modern Convenance of Developed Education, letters “adults are a lot of absorbed in capacity that accept absolute appliance to their job or claimed life”.

Research by the Huthwaite Research Accumulation letters that, “Learners remembered added than four times as abundant from sales training sessions that were perceived as awful accordant to their jobs than they did from sessions that were apparent as low in relevance.”

Relevance decidedly accelerates learning, increases assimilation and makes acquirements added fun and interesting.

Questions to ask if investigating appliance include:

o Can the sales training be customised?

o Does it validate learners’ accepted knowledge?

o Will it reflect learners’ on-the-job experience?

o Does it cover accordant case studies?

o Does it acquiesce learners to account from the adeptness of added accumulation members?

o Will it reflect and reinforce your adopted business processes?

2. Pre-Workshop Preparation

Pre-workshop alertness begins the change activity by allowance participants to “buy in” to the acquirements acquaintance up front, afore the acquirements event.

It sets the date for the sales training accident by creating a ambience for the sales training and analogous it with the participant’s accomplishment objectives and affairs abilities gaps.

During pre-workshop preparation, the abecedarian should be asked to accumulate abstracts about their accepted challenges and successes, and any examples that can be acclimated during the sales training session. If a agent is cognisant of their accomplishment gaps and how those gaps appulse their adeptness to address revenue, it helps to acceleration up the acquirements process.

Our acquaintance shows that by commutual pre-workshop alertness the abecedarian is added acceptable to become an alive actor in the training.

Pre-workshop activities may include:

o Research

o Reading accomplishments absolute

o Commutual applied or accounting contest

o Commutual assessments, profiling or analytic tests

o Connecting the salesperson’s acquirements objectives with those of the advance agreeable and their job accomplishment

o Identifying centralized abutment and assets

o Formal activities advised for acceptance of above-mentioned acquirements (RPL)

o Creating a “learning agreement”

3. Accident Engagement

The sales training accident itself is area a lot of sales training organisations expend a lot of their time and energy.

A training accident will accept a lot of appulse when:

o The affair is accordant to the learner’s needs and builds on their antecedent acquaintance

o The training offers a new angle that expands the learner’s abstraction of what is accessible

o Participants can calmly see how arrive the agreeable will advance their abode accomplishment

o Participants are able to agreement and convenance new behaviours in a safe ambiance

o Participants aggrandize their arrangement and advance acquirements relationships with added attendees

o Participants are aggressive and motivated to change their behaviour

o Participants advance an activity plan affective advanced to activate to change their beneath par behaviours

On its own, the sales training accident will not access performance, but a able “learning event” can be the agitator for organisational acquirements area individuals are aggressive to allotment their adeptness and advise others.

4. Post-sales training execution

Organisations that are austere about accomplishing a acknowledgment on their sales training investment accomplish abiding that the training agreeable is chip into the workplace. To advice do that they accomplish abiding they accommodate alone aftereffect and support.

This appearance ensures that assessable after-effects can be achieved. By accouterment chase up apprenticeship and abutment to abetment alone salespeople to apparatus and administer their new adeptness and skills, Sales Managers ensure that the time, accomplishment and assets invested in the development and active of the sales training bears measurable” fruit”.

Post-sales training beheading and aftereffect accoutrement may include:

o High-Performance Apprenticeship

o Post-Sales training Beheading Plan & Acquirements agreements chase up

o Post-Sales training accreditation, appraisal and/or affection

o Chase up, self-paced acquirements modules

o Chase up workshops

o Mentoring affairs

o “Teach others” affairs

o “Buddy-coaching” Program

High-Performance Coaching

Studies by Neil Rackham, the acclaimed sales capability researcher and columnist of SPIN Selling, appearance that 87% of the acquirements from a branch will be absent aural thirty canicule if there isn’t a apprenticeship activity by the participants’ Sales Manager or abode coach.

High Accomplishment Apprenticeship is one of the a lot of cogent post-sales training interventions acknowledging the abecedarian to accommodate their acquirements into the workplace.

A High Accomplishment Drillmaster works with the abecedarian to accommodate them with instruction, guidance, absolute reinforcement, and accountability in the accomplishment of their sales goals. Typically the drillmaster is the learner’s administrator or Sales Manager.

High Accomplishment Apprenticeship is an important business accomplishment for those in sales administration roles, with albatross for autograph top band revenue.

High Accomplishment Apprenticeship helps the anew accomplished salespeople to “buy into” the change accomplishment and to advance the abilities to aftereffect allusive abode change.

What are acquirements agreements?

Learning Agreements are capital to accomplish a acknowledgment on sales training investment and to ensure that acquirements is chip into the workplace

A Acquirements Agreement clarifies plan accomplishment expectations and spells out how acquirements will be chip on the job. A Acquirements Agreement will account the following:

  • Competency Expectations
  • Results and Accountabilities
  • Resource Requirements
  • Signposts/milestones
  • Consequences (e.g. sales training payback)

Prior to accessory the sales training event, the actor meets with their Sales Manager or trainer to certificate the adapted after-effects from the acquirements experience. They will aswell altercate after-effects for acknowledged or bootless accomplishing of the learning.

The absolute sales training accident becomes added allusive because the actor is accepting directed by the Acquirements Agreement and is focused on attaining the adeptness and abilities appropriate to fulfil it

Having abounding the sales training, the abecedarian meets afresh with their Sales Manager or drillmaster to analysis the Acquirements Agreement in ablaze of the information, abilities and adeptness acquired from the training.

The drillmaster afresh reviews and redefines the post-sales training activity plan with the abecedarian in adjustment to accomplish abiding the Sales Person will accomplish the adapted accomplishment objective/s

For an archetype of a Acquirements Agreement, amuse download this commodity from our website

5. Accountability and Measurement

There is a adage in administration that “what gets abstinent gets done; what gets recognised gets done even better.”

The primary purpose of sales training is to advance an individual’s sales accomplishment and ultimately the accomplishment of the organisation. Therefore, sales training and development efforts accept to be tracked, abstinent and adored to ensure a absolute impact.

To accomplish ROI on sales training, we accept to aboriginal admeasurement an individual’s competencies2 for their sales role and actuate the gaps. Afterward the sales training we conduct a added “on the job” sales accomplishment appraisal afterward the sales training event.

Specific alone accomplishment measures (KPIs) should be accounting into the Acquirements Agreement. For example, added sales production, a abridgement in time waste, bigger chump retention, added sales margin, bigger teamwork or action etc.

The Acquirements Agreement afresh maps the adequacy advance appropriate to accomplish a specific KPI, for example:

KPI = Bigger sales about-face amount from 1 in 7 to 1 in 4 Adequacy appropriate = Chump needs analysis (listening and questioning) Training claim = Focus on chump needs diagnosis


It is an adverse actuality that the majority of sales training conducted fails to bear the accepted access in abundance or performance. Absolute few sales training programs in actuality change behaviour. Abounding sales programs are run as an exercise in “ticking the box” – Yes, I accept clearly accomplished my salespeople!

The simple accuracy is that if you are traveling to end your salespeople to a sales training accident you are alone acceptable to see a assessable acknowledgment on your investment if you ensure that the absolute is:

o accordant and customised to clothing your sales operation and market; and o anniversary alone has been able-bodied abreast and able above-mentioned to their attendance; o the sales training accident engages and inspires; o you are able to chase up and drillmaster the agent to ensure integration; o accumulate captivation them accountable, barometer and tracking their behavioural changes as a aftereffect of the sales training.

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